Friday, August 05, 2011

Dragon-i at 1-U

We had complimentary tickets to catch a movie at the 1-Utama in PJ - the comic book fantasy The Green Lantern. And before the show, we went hunting for dinner. We were actually spoilt for choices for the 1-U is really quite a food haven. Somehow, the choice turned out to be the Dragon-i.

We had been to the Dragon-i a number of times. Our previous experience was at the Queensbay Mall in Penang where we had a rather expensive and fanciful abalone set dinner. This time around, we opted for more humble dishes that were not so painful to the pocket.

The Dragon-i at 1-U is located on the 3rd floor of the new wing. It has a very nice and comfortable ambiance, and a good crowd even on a weekday evening. The setting was similar to Queensbay Mall - same furniture, similar decor and even the same terracotta figurines.

The similarity did not end there. Our first dish was the 小笼包 or steamed meat dumpling. The appearance and taste of the dumplings were the same as those we had in Penang. They oozed the same soup when bitten on. They were delicious. Such a delicacy.

The next dish is my favorite at the Dragon-i. It was the smoked pork shank. This was a cold dish, meant to be an appetizer. It was served with some pickled jelly fish. The texture of the meat was soft and succulent. The layer of fat was very nice and sinful - literally food to die for.

The steamed rice at the Dragon-i is apparently very popular. We had the chicken rice - steamed with mushrooms and  Chinese sausage, and served with a small stalk of choy sum (菜心). The chicken was very tender and the rice was soft and fluffy. The sauce made it super nice. Feasting on it, we could see why it is so popular. 

For greens, we ordered the stir fried string beans with minced pork. In the midst of the other good food, this dish was just so-so. I found the beans rather over done. The portion was surprisingly generous. 

Finally, there was the crispy duck. By it self, the duck was rather dry. But it was served with crepes (Chinese style), strips of cucumber and celery, and a sweet sauce. It was eaten Pekinese duck style - wrapped in the crepe with the veges and sauce. I enjoyed the wraps thoroughly. The duck came in a big serving - half a bird. But the accompaniments including the crepe was inadequate. We ate the rest of the meat neat and, as I mentioned, it was dry.

The Dragon-i serves great Shanghainese, Szechuan and Beijing foods. There is a lot more variety that looked so good in the menu. But our stomachs could only accommodate so much. So we just had to wait for the next visit. They also have a sister restaurant chain - the Canton-i. I need not guess that this chain offers more southern tastes. I will definitely be there one day and will tell you about it.

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